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McCain to pro sports leagues: Return military $

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Posted at 4:59 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 19:59:42-04

Last week, the NFL announced an audit had revealed over $700,000 in American taxpayer funds via the Department of Defense were used to honor military service members during games. 

The NFL said it will return that money -- and on Thursday, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) wrote letters to the commissioners of the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS to urge them to conduct similar audits of their respective leagues.

"Like the NFL, you should consider returning this money or making a donation to the charitable organization of your choice that benefits our service members and veterans in an amount equal or greater to that paid to the teams by the DOD since 2012 for any activity intended to honor service members," McCain wrote.

"Any organization with a genuine interest in honoring the troops, and deriving public credit as a result, should do so at its own expense and not at that of the American taxpayer."

Last week, the NFL announced an audit of contracts between NFL teams and the DOD showed $723,734 in taxpayer funds were used over a four-year span to honor military members.

The NFL conducted the audit following a joint report by McCain and fellow Arizona-based Senator Jeff Flake late last year that revealed the DOD had paid professional sports clubs in the U.S. to host in-game ceremonies as a means of recruitment.